Replacing Joe Hart with Claudio Bravo wasn’t an isolated transfer error…
Make no mistake, Pep Guardiola is one of the finest coaches of a generation. However, that doesn’t make him incapable of mistakes. Those sentiments are arguably best highlighted by his history in the transfer market. The Spaniard certainly dropped the ball (ironically something his goalkeeper has been guilty of on several occasions) this summer. And it’s not the first time he’s made a bad call.
When putting on a little weight is the most noteworthy thing about a player’s time at a club, you know it probably hasn’t worked out. Worse still, Pep had made him Germany’s most expensive signing. He was sold back to Dortmund for less than two thirds of the €37m paid.
The Uruguayan has enjoyed a decent career, but do you even remember his time at the Camp Nou? Bought for €16.5m and sold for just €3m after only 13 Liga appearances. Yep, €1m a game for one of the most forgettable Blaugrana ‘stars’ ever. Nice one, Pep.
OK, so Kroos openly wanted to leave for Real Madrid. Still, €25m for a World Cup winner in the same window that Manchester City paid £32million for Eliaquim Mangala is just mental. At least he managed to get Xabi Alonso in return.
When you picture a €25m-rated defender playing for Barcelona, you don’t picture Chygrynskiy. No wonder he was sold back to Shakhtar Donetsk just one year later – at a loss of €10m. Pep, mate, the Ukrainians saw you coming.
Like Bravo, the English defender would’ve thrived in Guardiola’s Barcelona. But the Premier League isn’t Spain. Even at this premature stage, it’s fair to say Everton pulled City’s pants down with this one.
Sometimes a Football Manager legend turns out to be world-class in real life, too; Keirrison was not one of them. The €14m gamble didn’t play a single game before returning to South America on a free. If only Guardiola could’ve quit without saving.
The only thing worse than paying €46m for a player that you’ll eventually sell at a 50% discount is doing it while giving Samuel Eto’o away in the process. There’s a fine line between genius and madness; Guardiola was definitely on the wrong side here.
Of course, the good significantly outweighs the bad. You only need look at his haul of medals to see that. Having said that, I doubt it’ll come as any comfort to Manchester City fans as they look at the current league table.
Ahh well, at least Guardiola didn’t see his side get humiliated by Everton…